Vice President Kamala Harris continued to downplay the current state of the economy while she was speaking at a steelworkers union event in Las Vegas on Wednesday. There, Harris touted the White House’s claims of 0 percent inflation in July.
The data shows our economy had 0% inflation in July. We have more work to do, but @POTUS and I are clear: we’re building an economy that works for all Americans.
— Vice President Kamala Harris (@VP) August 11, 2022
This claim made by the Biden administration has been scrutinized. Many have citied data from the Consumer Price Index. The data showed that inflation only dipped slightly to 8.5 percent.
“Today we learned that last month our economy had 0 percent inflation,” Harris said. “In July, we saw a drop in gas prices and (in) a range of other goods like clothing and airfares, and household appliances, which means more money in the pockets of working families.”
Harris also brought up the July jobs report, which suggested over half a million new jobs were created despite record high inflation.
“Combined with other economic progress, which includes the fact that we have created over half a million jobs last month and over 9 million jobs in the last 18 months, which means that we have recovered all the jobs that were lost during the pandemic,” the Vice President continued. “We are seeing great progress. Unemployment is now at 3.5 (percent), which is the lowest that unemployment has been in our country in half a century. So, we are seeing that we’re delivering for the American people and we still have more to do.”
Despite Harris’s claim, economists pointed out that her statement was misleading as a large portion of the jobs that were created were part-time jobs. Economists highlighted that 71,000 fewer Americans are working full-time jobs. Additionally, they noted that the workforce participation dipped slightly.
Harris concluded her speech by commenting on the recent signing of the CHIPS Act. The Act provides funding and tax credits to incentivize semiconductor chip production in the US. The Vice President implied that the jobs created by the large investment would primarily go to union workers.
“These investments will create millions of good paying jobs, including good union jobs, jobs,” Harris noted. “Union jobs for workers who will forge the steel we need to produce wind turbines and solar panels, jobs for rubber workers, aluminum workers, glass workers who will make the parts that are needed for these millions of electric vehicles, and jobs for the auto workers who manufacture those vehicles.”
In the meantime, the White House has put their full support behind the so-called Inflation Reduction Act, which is expected to pass through the House of Representatives this Friday.